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Maths

ABOUT 250,000 kids turn 12 each year. Offer them $100 if they know their multiplication tables perfectly in February, another $60 for a repeat in June, another $40 in November. Success rate: 90 per cent (est) Cost: $45 million. One big problem solved.


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ARGH. Yeah, because times tables is the only thing kids need to know!



Claire Smith (Letters, May 10) is wrong. As a parent I am well aware of what goes in at an SRE class.

Over the years I've had to explain to my daughter that my wife and I will not end up burning in hell. I patiently had to explain the cultural difference between angels and fairies. I had to explain that the leaflet she had been told to bring home, which gave ''10 reasons why we know the Bible is true'', had no foundation in fact, that at best the evidence for the ''reasons'' given were dubious at best and outright lies at worst. So I do know what SRE is about. It is not about ethics; it is not about learning how religion has shaped our culture; it is definitely not learning about the life and nature of Jesus Christ. It is an attempt by the church to indoctrinate children, in the hope that it will put a few more bums on seats to bolster its falling numbers. And the reality is it doesn't work.

As for ''parents been forced to choose'', this too is a lie. Many parents have wanted for a long time an ethics and critical thinking alternative to SRE, preferably taught by trained teachers as opposed to ''civic hearted'' volunteers. Well, finally, some parents have a choice for their children, and the church is bleating.

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... SRE classes??? I didn't know that was going on in Australian public schools. http://www.smh.com.au/national/letters/all-views-count-in-schools-blessed-with-tolerance-20100510-uojd.html More about it here.

 

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
emstapole
May. 24th, 2010 10:55 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry, I went to SRE but my parents had a discussion about it before and after with me. And if it doesn't work, then why are you pissed off!
moar_caffeine
May. 29th, 2010 09:02 pm (UTC)
Now, I pretty much fit the definition of a spendthrift liberal to a tee (especially for an American), but might I ask how we intend to pay for this little "Money for Multiplication" program? $40 million isn't exactly cheap. And if that's what we play to pay kids to learn elementary math, what do you suggest we pay older adolescents to learn Algebra? What about Trig? Stats? Calculus?

Also, I think bribing children with money for academic achievement is ethically dubious at best, particularly if it's little more than rote memorization.

That suggestion really made me twitchy-eyed.
longlongwaytogo
May. 30th, 2010 01:11 am (UTC)
Also, times tables is the ONLY thing that primary school age kids need to know about maths?
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )